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Martina Navarro, Nelson Miyamoto, John van der Kamp, Edgard Morya, Ronald Ranvaud and Geert J.P. Savelsbergh

We investigated the effects of high pressure on the point of no return or the minimum time required for a kicker to respond to the goalkeeper’s dive in a simulated penalty kick task. The goalkeeper moved to one side with different times available for the participants to direct the ball to the opposite side in low-pressure (acoustically isolated laboratory) and high-pressure situations (with a participative audience). One group of participants showed a significant lengthening of the point of no return under high pressure. With less time available, performance was at chance level. Unexpectedly, in a second group of participants, high pressure caused a qualitative change in which for short times available participants were inclined to aim in the direction of the goalkeeper’s move. The distinct effects of high pressure are discussed within attentional control theory to reflect a decreasing efficiency of the goal-driven attentional system, slowing down performance, and a decreasing effectiveness in inhibiting stimulus-driven behavior.

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Arne Nieuwenhuys, J. Rob Pijpers, Raôul R.D. Oudejans and Frank C. Bakker

The object of the current study was to investigate anxiety-induced changes in movement and gaze behavior in novices on a climbing wall. Identical traverses were situated at high and low levels on a climbing wall to manipulate anxiety. In line with earlier studies, climbing times and movement times increased under anxiety. These changes were accompanied by similar changes in total and average fixation duration and the number of fixations, which were primarily aimed at the holds used for climbing. In combination with these findings, a decrease in search rate provided evidence for a decrease in processing efficiency as anxiety increased.

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Mark R. Wilson, Samuel J. Vine and Greg Wood

The aim of this study was to test the predictions of attentional control theory using the quiet eye period as an objective measure of attentional control. Ten basketball players took free throws in two counterbalanced experimental conditions designed to manipulate the anxiety they experienced. Point of gaze was measured using an ASL Mobile Eye tracker and fixations including the quiet eye were determined using frame-by-frame analysis. The manipulation of anxiety resulted in significant reductions in the duration of the quiet eye period and free throw success rate, thus supporting the predictions of attentional control theory. Anxiety impaired goal-directed attentional control (quiet eye period) at the expense of stimulus-driven control (more fixations of shorter duration to various targets). The findings suggest that attentional control theory may be a useful theoretical framework for examining the relationship between anxiety and performance in visuomotor sport skills.

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Mark R. Wilson, Greg Wood and Samuel J. Vine

The current study sought to test the predictions of attentional control theory (ACT) in a sporting environment. Fourteen experienced footballers took penalty kicks under low- and high-threat counterbalanced conditions while wearing a gaze registration system. Fixations to target locations (goalkeeper and goal area) were determined using frame-by-frame analysis. When anxious, footballers made faster first fixations and fixated for significantly longer toward the goalkeeper. This disruption in gaze behavior brought about significant reductions in shooting accuracy, with shots becoming significantly centralized and within the goalkeeper’s reach. These findings support the predictions of ACT, as anxious participants were more likely to focus on the “threatening” goalkeeper, owing to an increased influence of the stimulus-driven attentional control system.

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Rob Gray, Anders Orn and Tim Woodman

motor control mechanisms. We did not include a discussion of the distraction theory of pressure-induced failures ( Wine, 1971 ) and associated theories such as attentional control theory ( Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007 ) because, to our knowledge, these theories do not make specific

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Emmanuel Ducrocq, Mark Wilson, Tim J. Smith and Nazanin Derakshan

& Derakshan, 2013 ), supporting one of the main predictions of attentional control theory (ACT) of anxiety ( Derakshan & Eysenck, 2009 ; Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007 ). There is now substantial evidence that anxiety-induced distractibility reduces processing efficiency, impairing goal

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Alexander Tibor Latinjak

increase competitive anxiety (see Hammermeister & Burton, 2001 ), then attention control theory ( Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007 ) could be another means to explain the results of this study. According to the attention control theory, anxiety increases the extent to which processing is

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Alex Oliver, Paul J. McCarthy and Lindsey Burns

insights into the breakdown of attempts to control attention are outlined by attentional-control theory ( Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007 ), which focuses on the debilitative influence anxiety can have on attempts to control attention, thus offering some insights into why athletes may become

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Christopher P. Tomczyk, George Shaver and Tamerah N. Hunt

. 4. Eysenck MW , Derakshan N , Santos R , Calvo MG . Anxiety and cognitive performance: attentional control theory . Emotion . 2007 ; 7 ( 2 ): 336 – 353 . PubMed ID: 17516812 doi:10.1037/1528-3542.7.2.336 17516812 10.1037/1528-3542.7.2.336 5. Bailey CM , Samples HL , Broshek DK

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Recep Gorgulu, Andrew Cooke and Tim Woodman

, 1992 ), attentional control theory ( Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007 ), and catastrophe models ( Hardy, Woodman, & Carrington, 2004 ). However, these theories do not offer a mechanism through which anxiety can elicit precisely counterintentional errors. These errors are more severe than